Betting Guide for UFC Columbus

Two of heavyweight's youngest prospects -- both of whom coming off heartbreaking knockout losses to Derrick Lewis -- will square off in the first domestic, non-pay-per-view event since the COVID-19 pandemic outside of UFC headquarters.

UFC Columbus: Blaydes vs. Daukaus takes place Saturday from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. Where are the sharpest places to wager on the card using UFC odds?

Manon Fiorot and Neil Magny to Both Win (-145; 1.75 Units)

The two-legger stayed hot across the pond -- amazingly with both wins coming by two of the most brutal finishes you'll see in 2022.

Manon Fiorot (-480) is the first leg this weekend in "The Buckeye State". It's hard to deny "The Beast" as she's bludgeoned her way to a +4.55 striking success rate through three UFC wins. Though her volume is excellent, her 70% striking defense tells the tale. She's been nearly untouchable.

That was against worse competition than she'll face this week in Jennifer Maia. At just 0.25 takedowns per 15 minutes, she just doesn't go to her grappling despite it being her best strength. Leaning on her -0.32 striking success rate against Fiorot could prove disastrous, and Fiorot has a 100% takedown defense regardless.

I also love this spot for Neil Magny (+250). He just defeated the ranked Geoff Neal, who is a polished striker that Magny dusted with a +20 striking differential. Magny is a solid, Denver-trained welterweight that's equally adept striking (+1.63 striking success rate) and grappling (1.61 takedowns per 15 minutes).

He actually steps backward in the level of competition to this spot to the unranked Max Griffin. This is Griffin's first ranked foe in 12 UFC appearances. Griffin brings nearly identical wrestling volume to the table (1.63 takedowns per 15 minutes), but he's amassed a 7-5 UFC record for a reason. He has a thoroughly average +0.38 striking success rate.

Based on the substantial jump in competition for Griffin -- and one that's not as large as it seems for Fiorot -- this pairing makes for a well-established duo to back.

Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus Doesn't Start Round 3 (+104; 1.0 Units)

If there's one thing we know about Chris Daukaus (+290) by now, it's that dinner reservations are safe with him.

Daukaus has amassed just 17:07 in total fight time across five separate UFC appearances. He's been to a second round just once, and even then, you could have argued to stop his fight with Shamil Abdurikhimov after an early knockdown.

Because of that, it's really hard to know what to make of his gaudy numbers. 7.71 significant strikes landed per minute on a +4.20 striking success rate is almost impossible for a heavyweight long-term.

We'll get an answer Saturday. Curtis Blaydes (-350) has dominated every second of his 12 UFC appearances that weren't knockout losses to champion Francis Ngannou. Blaydes was mauling Derrick Lewis before a stunning come-from-behind knockout that ended the fight right away.

I truly don't know which side will win out on Saturday. With six knockdowns in five fights, Daukaus profiles to have the power to make Blaydes pay just as Ngannou and Lewis did. However, he's horribly untested and Blaydes has mauled high-level competition like Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rosentruik.

My favorite way to back this fight is that -- at even money -- Daukaus either wins quick (as he always does) or Blaydes is on a completely different level than Daukaus immediately and starches him before too long.

Dart Throw of the Week: Joanne Wood to Win by Decision (+360; 0.5 Units)

Alexa Grasso's eager attitude towards this fight is really the only concern I have for Joanne Wood (+198) in this spot.

Wood is not a strong grappler. That's what has kept her out of the flyweight title picture. She's either been taken down multiple times or submitted in six of her seven UFC losses, and the lone exception was a fight she had a +30 striking differential and the judges weren't watching.

However, this week against Grasso, neither woman is coming to wrestle. It's actually Wood (1.57 takedowns per 15 minutes) that would be more comfortable there than the boxer Grasso (0.26). If anything, Wood can also use her wrestling edge to exploit Grasso's equally-poor 60% takedown defense.

In that event, I will pick Wood to win just about any striking match on volume. "Dr. Kneevil" has landed 6.71 significant strikes per minute in a massive, 14-fight UFC sample. At 4.96 herself, Grasso's volume isn't bad, but she doesn't push that same pace.

Volume is how Wood (+2.16 striking success rate) has been on the better side of damage per minute than Grasso (+1.35 striking success rate). Wood's 52% striking defense is very average, but it's not really a concern since Grasso has 0 career knockdowns in six UFC fights, and six of those have gone to a decision.

This fight is -300 to go the distance, so the name of the game will be scoring points each round. Wood is a master at that.